This week should provide more great fishing action! The weather looks good, air temps in the upper 80’s to low 90’s and the water temp along the oceanfront a warm 82°. There’s only a slight chance of a thunderstorm each day. Lite winds and slick conditions are predicted all week.
Flounder action has picked up. They’re being caught along the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel and on rough Bay bottom. Many of the larger fish are being taken around near-shore wrecks and artificial reefs. Drifting flounder rigs and jigging have both been effective. Remember large baits catch big flounder. Captain Craig Paige, Paige II Charters specializes in flounder fishing. If you want to go he has a few openings the middle to end of August. They won’t last long.
Rudee, Lynnhaven, Little Creek and Eastern Shore Inlets are holding some small flounder along with a few speckled trout and puppy drum. Fresh whole shrimp under a popping cork rig is your best bet for the pups and specks.
Boats trolling Clark spoons behind an in-line weight or planer along the oceanfront or near tidal rips in the Bay are catching nice spanish mackerel. Anglers working coastal wrecks are catching triggerfish.
Cobia are being caught throughout the lower Bay. Both sight-casters and angler anchoring and chumming are catching. The 2020 Virginia recreational cobia regulation is 40-inch total length, minimum size limit; 1-fish daily possession limit or 3-fish-daily vessel limit, whichever is more restrictive; only one fish per vessel per day may be greater than 50 inches in total length; the season runs through September 30. All anglers, captains, and guides fishing for cobia must obtain a Recreational Cobia Permit from the Commission and report all harvest and cobia fishing activity. Permits can be obtained online.
Red drum are cruising the lower Bay. Occasionally anglers encounter large schools on the surface. The trick is to ease up near them without spooking them. These fish are usually large, and must be released as they are usually over the maximum 26-inch size limit.
Sheepshead are hanging around the pilling of the CBBT now. Small crabs are your best bait. Long Bay Pointe Bait and Tackle usually has them in the live tank.
Spadefish remain plentiful. Look for them around buoys, pilings and over wrecks. The Chesapeake Light tower is a favorite spot but some of the larger fish are being found in the Bay, at the Cell near Cape Charles.
Croaker are available throughout the lower bay now.
Virginia Beach Pier anglers are reporting spanish, blues, spots, roundhead, spadefish, small trout and small founder.
The Eastern Shore shallows are holding some tarpon. Catching a tarpon in Virginia waters is special.
The offshore fleet has been finding a few tuna, some large wahoo, white marlin, a few blue marlin and sailfish. Dolphin catches should increase. There have been some really big ones laned to our south. I look for an outstanding mahi mahi season.
Deep-droppers are enjoying excellent catches of golden and blueline tilefish, along with sea bass.
Look for amberjack around the south tower.
Effective August 17, 2020 private vessels fishing for tilefish in the Mid-Atlantic must get a permit and file a catch report.
NOAA Fisheries is requiring private recreational tilefish vessels in the Mid-Atlantic to get permits and file catch reports. These changes were approved in Amendment 6 to the Tilefish Fishery Management Plan, and will be effective August 17, 2020. This action is being taken to better characterize and monitor the recreational fisheries for both blueline tilefish and golden tilefish.
You can get your federal private recreational tilefish vessel permit through Fish Online. This new permit is required even if a vessel already holds a for-hire tilefish permit. Call the NOAA Permit Office at 978-282-8438 for questions about the permitting process.
Private recreational tilefish anglers must also fill out and submit an electronic vessel trip report within 24 hours of returning to port for trips where tilefish were targeted and/or retained. Reports can be submitted through any NOAA Fisheries approved electronic reporting system.